Pamukkale: the sight that was nearly loved to death.

Pamukkale Travel Blog

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The top photo is and old photo of Pamukkale, the bottom is how it looks today.
DAY THREE of the Beaches & Ruins Road Trip: PAMUKKALE.  

Hallelujah, we managed to beat most of the tour buses to Pamukkale! We arrived at the gate just before the opening time of 8am and it was relatively quiet. We parked at the north gate (many buses were parked at the south gate) and walked in to the main event… the travertine terraces.

You may have seen photos of this incredible place -- bright white formations protruding and “dripping” from the mountainside, filled with shimmering blue water. I was surprised to see in photos that people were actually bathing in them…don’t the formations get dirty? WELL, the answer is YES, they do.
An old photo of Pamukkale, overrun with tourists. There were no boundaries or rules in these days.
Those photos of pristine white terraces were taken in the 1980s (I am posting a few for comparison), when bad environmental practices allowed people to bath in the pools and run around the place at will. Thermal water was also diverted for the nearby “thermal hotels,” causing to water flow to the terraces to cease.

Finally, someone figured out that their main attraction was no longer attractive, and things are now being done to try to restore the site to its former glory. A road ramp they had been inexplicably built into the terraces in the 1980’s (I think) has been turned into artificial pools, which at least look better. This area is the only place open for tourists to walk through. Water is also being dammed and rerouted and made to go to the “right places.” The terraces are gorgeous even without the water, but to compare the photos between then and now… well, they still have a ways to go.
Hierapolis ruins set in cypress trees.
Lisa and I strolled through the ponds that were open, but it made us feel guilty by association. Steve didn't go in at all. We didn’t stay long.

The surprise bonus of the visit was the ancient city of Hierapolis. This was a “spa town” built near the terraces, and is now a gorgeous ruin adjacent to them. We walked down to the end on a boardwalk and then walked back through the ruins in the increasing heat. The ruins were surrounded by golden grass and cypress trees -- wonderful! It really alleviated the disappointment we felt at Pamukkale.   

It was scorching hot when we got to the car. We were so happy to blast the AC, not that it had much effect. We went back and checked out of the hotel, then settled in for the drive. As we took off we debated whether or not to go to the ancient site of Aphrodias. It a huge draw in this area, and we all felt we SHOULD go…but we didn’t really want to. We would be arriving at the hottest, busiest time of the day. In the end we decided to skip it, and felt vaguely guilty for THAT, too.  

skippyed says:
Good insight into Pamukkale
Posted on: Mar 26, 2010
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The top photo is and old photo of …
The top photo is and old photo of…
An old photo of Pamukkale, overrun…
An old photo of Pamukkale, overru…
Hierapolis ruins set in cypress tr…
Hierapolis ruins set in cypress t…
Breakfast buffet at Colossae Hotel…
Breakfast buffet at Colossae Hote…
Breakfast buffet at Colossae Hotel…
Breakfast buffet at Colossae Hote…
Buses at the South Gate of Pamukka…
Buses at the South Gate of Pamukk…
An old photo of Pamukkale.
An old photo of Pamukkale.
Minerals cause the white chalky co…
Minerals cause the white chalky c…
Pamukkale terraces.
Pamukkale terraces.
The view from Pamukkale.
The view from Pamukkale.
Wading in the artificial pond.
Wading in the artificial pond.
Lisa at Pamukkale.
Lisa at Pamukkale.
Pamukkale.
Pamukkale.
Tourists at Pamukkale.
Tourists at Pamukkale.
The side terraces of Pamukkale.
The side terraces of Pamukkale.
The archeologists say Hierapolis u…
The archeologists say Hierapolis …
The ruins of Hierapolis, adjacent …
The ruins of Hierapolis, adjacent…
Hierapolis ruins set in cypress tr…
Hierapolis ruins set in cypress t…
The Basilica Bath at Hierapolis.
The Basilica Bath at Hierapolis.
Ruins run over by minerals.
Ruins run over by minerals.
Lisa and I act like tourists at Hi…
Lisa and I act like tourists at H…
Frontinus Street at Hierapolis.
Frontinus Street at Hierapolis.
Hierapolis ruins.
Hierapolis ruins.
The top is what is used to look li…
The top is what is used to look l…
Lisa in ruins.
Lisa in ruins.
A city once sat here.
A city once sat here.
Checking out.
Checking out.
Ice cream stop!
Ice cream stop!
Very happy travelers.
Very happy travelers.
Dont you wish you had one right n…
Don't you wish you had one right …
Pamukkale
photo by: EmyG